Government offices neglected to control costs of basic foodstuffs, resulting in sharp price hikes and a steep drop in the public’s buying power, the state comptroller said in a report published Wednesday.
The report, the first issued by the new State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, was published just before Rosh Hashanah and on the heels of the recent hikes in bread, beer, cigarettes and fuel prices, as well as the tax increases that went into effect on September 1.
According to the report, government offices abandoned supervision of food costs in Israel between 2005 and 2011, allowing companies in a non-competitive market to set the prices. This brought about increased profits for manufacturers and importers, while contributing to the economic hardships faced by the average Israeli.
“The ministries of finance, industry, agriculture and the entire government must rectify the wrongs and maintain real control on the prices of essential foodstuffs by defining the basic food package and closely monitoring its costs,” wrote the comptroller.